The Road to Opportunity: Education and the State of the Union
On January 28th, President Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union address where he reinforced the message that education plays an important role in our country. Among the education topics he addressed were making high-quality preschool available to every 4-year old, connecting 99 percent of schools to high-speed broadband, redesigning high schools to offer more hands-on training and increasing college opportunity.
For decades, First Ladies have invited extraordinary Americans that matched the theme of the State of the Union Address to join them in her viewing box. This year, three Latino students were among those joining First Lady Michelle Obama. One of them was featured in President Obama's address: “Estiven Rodriguez couldn't speak a word of English when he moved to New York City at age 9. But last month, thanks to the support of great teachers and an innovative tutoring program, he led a march of his classmates — through a crowd of cheering parents and neighbors — from their high school to the post office, where they mailed off their college applications,” Obama said. Rodriguez will attend Dickinson College in Pennsylvania on a full scholarship.
Following the State of the Union address, the WHIEEH held its first Twitter chat. Staff answered questions about a range of programs and initiatives and how the Administration is supporting postsecondary completion for Hispanics.
In honor of Black History Month, here is opportunity from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans:
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans and Ebony Magazine are proud to present, “The 2014 Summits on Educational Excellence for African Americans.”
GOALS FOR THE SUMMIT SERIES INCLUDE:
1. Raising awareness about the importance of investing in African American Educational Excellence to ensure African American students, schools, and communities are supported in learning and development opportunities beginning at birth;
2. Highlighting individuals and organizations who are successfully supporting African American educational excellence; and
3. Supporting community engagement by creating opportunities for parents, grandparents, guardians and caring adults to increase the number of African American’s who graduate from high school prepared for future success.
Students at any age, birth through adulthood, deserve opportunities—opportunities afforded by a high-quality school experience that prepares them for careers with family sustaining wages and opportunities for advancement in the global 21st century workforce.
For more information visit www.ed.gov/AfAmEducation
For Full Summit Agendas, to Register or for Additional Information Visit: www.ed.gov/AfAmEducation
Additional information and registration is available at http://www.ed.gov/edblogs/whieeaa/2014-summit-on-educational-excellence-for-african-americans/
On January 10th, the WHIEEH convened over 20 scholars and education professionals from across the country at the White House for a roundtable discussion on Hispanic Males and educational attainment. The discussion focused on the current state of young Hispanic males, the landscape of research, effective practices, and public policy that impact young Hispanic males, in an effort to identify and build on opportunities for advancing this work. In addition, forum participants recognized an urgency to act on this issue. WHIEEH will continue engaging with key stakeholders on this important issue throughout the year.
On January 13th, the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) hosted an Education Summit for Parent Leaders, presenting on the urgent need to improve student achievement and close persistent achievement gaps. "Parents have the power to challenge educational complacency here at home," Secretary Duncan said in his keynote address. "Parents have the power to ask more of their leaders—and to ask more of their kids and themselves. And all of those will be vital in a time when we are losing ground [on national and international assessments]." The summit's web site offers a variety of materials, such as speaker slidedecks and videos, videos of students discussing pressing issues in education, and an extensive resources page.
On January 15th, the WH and ED hosted the second Education Datapalooza. The event focused on innovation and highlighted products, apps, websites and other tools that help students enroll and complete college, as well as improve teaching and learning. More information on Education Datapalooza and the Education Data Initiative can be found here.
On February 4, President Obama announced that the Federal Communications Commission will invest $2 billion over the next two years to expand high-speed internet connectivity for America's schools and libraries. In addition, he announced a commitment of over $750 million from private sector companies to deliver cutting-edge technologies to classrooms. These investments will help ensure that 99 percent of students have access to high-level internet by 2017.
In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Treasury and Intuit, Inc., this tax-filing season, a banner will be featured on TurboTax software informing users the various options they have in repaying their federal student loans. The banner will link to the online Repayment Estimator, where users are able to determine if they could lower their monthly student loan program through an income-driven repayment plan. This collaboration is another step of ED's commitment to make college more affordable.
To tackle the alarming rate of sexual assualt on college campuses, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum to establish a White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. A report issued by the White House Council on Women and Girls -- “Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action” -- reveals one in five women and one in 71 men have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lifetimes. The task force, which will include Secretary Duncan, is charged with sharing best practices and increasing transparency, enforcement, public awareness, and interagency coordination to prevent violence and support survivors. It builds on federal efforts already underway which seek to break devastating cycles of violence on campuses and around the country.
Throughout February, the Task Force will be hosting numerous listening sessions. The listening sessions are designed to allow as many people as possible to share their stories and input. The Task Force is looking for concrete and creative ideas about how schools can prevent sexual assault, and how they can better respond when it happens – both in terms of supporting survivors and holding offenders accountable
Below are upcoming grant, internship and fellowship opportunities:
The National Association of Social Insurance (NASI) has three internship programs --The Washington Internship on Social Insurance, The Somers Aging and Long-Term Care Internship, The Nathan J. Stark Internship for Non-Profit Development, and The Eileen Sweeney Graduate Internship in Disability Policy– that offer a wide array of opportunities and a $3,500 stipend. Descriptions of the programs and the online application form are available on the individual internship pages and on NASI’s Internship Opportunities page. The deadline is March 1, 2014
The National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families (“Center’) is pleased to announce a new Summer Research Fellowship program for 2014. In its inaugural year, the goal of the Summer Research Fellowship Program is to attract, develop, and expand the pool of emerging scholars focused on studying issues concerning low-income and vulnerable Hispanic children and families. This 12-week program is open to those currently enrolled in an advanced graduate program (Master’s, Ph.D., or ABD - “all but dissertation”) and will provide graduate students with the opportunity to carry out policy-research in an applied setting, and in ways that can impact both policy and programs serving Hispanic children and families. We currently are accepting applications for summer 2014 research fellowships. Click here for more information on how to apply. Due to the demand, be sure to submit your application by March 7th, 2014.
The National Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Association (NMSHSA) offers a unique internship program to current college students who participated in a Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Program. The NMSHSA Internship Program brings together the next generation of community leaders from across the country to work in Washington, D.C. The deadline is March 21, 2014. More information can be found at here.
The 2014 Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program is now accepting applications. The prizes are:
- The David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000) will be awarded to an organization that has made outstanding and measurable contributions in increasing literacy levels and has demonstrated exceptional and sustained depth and breadth in its commitment to the advancement of literacy.
- The American Prize ($50,000) will be awarded to an organization that has made a significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels or the national awareness of the importance of literacy.
- The International Prize ($50,000) will be awarded to an organization or national entity that has made a significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels.
The program is accepting applications from now until the March 31, 2014, deadline. Visit www.read.gov/literacyawards to download the application and find further instructions.
The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is accepting applications for the SunShot Postdoctoral Research Awards. This support innovative solar research by offering recent Ph.D. recipients the opportunity to conduct applied R&D at universities, national laboratories, and other research facilities.
- Yearly stipend with two years of support
- Research and travel allowance
- Health insurance
- Relocation allowance
- U.S. Citizenship or lawful permanent resident status
- Economics, Social Science, Computer Science, Engineering, Materials Science, Physics, and Chemistry are just a few of the disciplines that may apply
- Have a Ph.D. for no more than five years
Application Deadline: April 30, 2014
For more information and to apply, visit: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/education/postdoctoral